Starring – Dan Stevens, Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Ian McKellen, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Kline, Emma Thompson…and most of these actors are CGI characters because it’s always that damn CGI starring in movies now…
Directed by Bill Condon
So, when I was watching Beauty and the Beast the 2017 version last night, I asked my wife why did Disney decide to turn a classic animated film that has been loved by millions for almost a couple of decades now into a live action film when half of the cast in the new “live action” film are CGI? And she replied, “So Disney could make a lot of money.” And she was right. I couldn’t help thinking the whole entire time I was watching this latest version of the fairy tale that it was basically unnecessary because if the whole point was to go from animated to live action then why not have real live actors instead of CGI, which is basically a more sophisticated version of animation. The whole time I watched the movie, I couldn’t help but miss the days before CGI when Jim Henson’s puppet masters and Stan Winston’s amazing creature make-up skills would have been recruited to turn a live actor into a live Beast, instead of having the poor guy suffer in an extremely unhealthy costume just so they could turn him into an animated character for a live action film. Oh well, at least we got a gay character from this version and he was live action and everything.
This version of Beauty and the Beast is basically the same as the 1991 animated version, or at least what I can remember of it because I only watched that version once when I was babysitting. I was 19 at the time, so long past Disney movies, but even if the movie came out when I was a kid, I probably would have only watched it the one time as well, because kid-me (and adult-me) always preferred Disney movies like The Jungle Book, The Rescuers and 101 Dalmatians, which I would watch over and over and over again. Or really, listen to the albums of because when I was a kid there was no Internet or DVDs or even VCRs, so the only option we kids of that archaic age (that would be the 1970s) had when we wanted to see a Disney movie outside of a movie theater was to buy the album of the movie and then it was only part of the movie that was on the album because they couldn’t fit an entire animated feature film on one record. So, I would listen to The Jungle Book, The Rescuers and 101 Dalmatians over and over again and try to remember what the pictures on the screen looked like the one time I got to see the movies. And I still have these records today and maybe I sometimes pull them out to listen to them when I am in a nostalgic mood, but only maybe.
In other words, I was never a purveyor of the Disney romantic movies. I saw Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, but I was always one and done with them. I wanted my Disney movies filled with action and excitement and slightly lesbian-type girls like Penny in The Rescuers. So, a film like Beauty and the Beast has just never really been my cup of tea, but I wanted to watch this version because all anyone could say about it in the gay press and even the regular press was that it had a gay character. FINALLY, Disney came out of the closet! And maybe with all the praise and excitement of this finally gay Disney character, I had my expectations set too high because I had visions of a super gay character in my head, basically along the lines of Nathan Lane in The Birdcage. Josh Gad (who plays the gay character in the film) kind of looks like a younger Nathan Lane, so I was all set to sit down and muddle through a romance between a CGI beast and a feminist live action girl who likes to hide feminist books in subway stations for other young feminists to find and I’m still not sure what the point of that is because if I want someone to read a book, my first thought isn’t to hide it in a subway station. But anyway, I was ready to muddle through all of that CGI/live human romancing and even deal with the musical numbers (because I am just not much of a fan of musicals) if I finally got to see what kid-me has been waiting for since I was…well a kid, a character that was like me in a Disney movie, in other words, gay like me. The problem is only Nathan Lane can do Nathan Lane from The Birdcage, because for a gay character in a Disney musical movie, Josh Gad wasn’t really that gay. And so most of the time, I was left with a gay character in a Disney movie that I kept wondering if anyone else would have realized he was gay if Disney hadn’t announced it to the world.
Nathan Lane being gay in a movie versus Josh Gad being gay in a movie. Now why does Josh Gad look super gay in this picture? He didn’t look that gay in the movie. Oh well. Then again, I don’t think I was being fair to him because you can’t get any gayer in a movie than Nathan Lane dressing up like Liza Minnelli. Maybe I’m asking too much from my Disney gay entertainment? And when it comes to Liza Minnelli, you can’t get any gayer than your gay uncle who used to work for her. Let’s just say I worry about her still after the stories my uncle told me of his time working for her years and years ago.
Yes, Josh Gad swishes a bit and says a few things that could be interpreted as gay and for all of two seconds at the end of the film, we got to see him dancing with a guy, but except for that don’t blink or you’ll miss it moment, it wasn’t really that obvious. Honestly if I hadn’t known for a fact his character was gay, I would have sat wondering about his character’s actual sexuality since he did seem kind of gay, but it was a Disney movie after all and most characters in a Disney movie seem kind of gay, especially when they are singing those musical numbers. I don’t really know what I was expecting from Disney. I don’t know why my mind went straight to dreams of Nathan Lane-gay instead of realizing that Disney was not going to make a gay character in a children’s movie that they hoped to be a multi-billion dollar blockbuster all over the world that gay. But everyone was singing Disney’s praises for having a gay character and with all that hype, I bought into the bandwagon for once and jumped on board ready for my gay ride to super gay Disney character dreamland. And I also can’t help wondering if kid-me would have figured it out too, because kid-me was pretty smart at spotting the gay people on my TV when I was growing up even though I didn’t quite understand what gay was and I certainly didn’t know that I was a gay character too, just in real life. But would kid-me have spotted Josh Gad as one of my kind? Paul Lynde and Stephen Stucker were the Nathan Lanes of their generation, so it wasn’t really that hard to figure out they were one of my people when they were on my TV when I was a kid, but this gay character in Beauty in the Beast, would kid-me have known he was one of my people, and so will gay kids of today know it too? Maybe? Oh well. Maybe if gay kids can’t figure out they are watching someone like them, an adult will kindly explain it to them.
Basically, at the end of the day, little girls and gay boys everywhere will love this version too and not give two who-ha’s that Disney is a bit hypocritical when it comes to turning animated movies into live action movies, only to have those live action movies be half animated. And little gay boys and little lesbians everywhere finally have a gay character in a Disney movie to look at and say, “Hey, I’m like him!” And what an amazing fete that is and who would have thought it finally came to pass. Little kid-me is applauding Disney for that even if adult-me is still cynical about Disney only doing it to, as my wife said, “Make a lot of money.”
So the moral of the story is, just because an actor looks like Nathan Lane and is going to be gay in a movie like Nathan Lane does not mean you will be getting Nathan Lane, because after all, there is only one Nathan Lane. End. Of. Story. 😉